With the December sire summaries, Genex Cooperative, Inc. will update the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index to include three new proprietary health traits: Subclinical Ketosis (SCK), Metritis (MTR) and Foot Health (FH). This change will enable members and customers to breed for even healthier ideal commercial cows.
The ICC$ index is a sire ranking tool that was first released in August 2014. Building on its reputation for innovation, Genex created the index after producers asked for a better way to rank sires that create cows which excel in commercial conditions.
“Over the past two years, members and customers have begun using ICC$ because it puts greater emphasis on longevity, health, and optimal body size and condition without sacrificing yield and udder traits,” explains Keith Heikes, Genex COO. “The addition of the three new health traits continues the emphasis on cow health.”
Heikes goes on to note that ICC$ was developed to be real-time and flexible. “When creating ICC$, we envisioned it as an index that could quickly address producers’ emerging needs and an index where new traits could easily be incorporated. That vision has become a reality with this update to ICC$ and the inclusion of these new proprietary health traits.”
ICC$ is the summation of five easy-to-use sub-indexes: Health, Production Efficiency, Fertility and Fitness, Milking Ability and Calving Ability. The sub-indexes enable producers to narrow their genetic emphasis to specific areas of farm management, if desired. SCK, MTR and FH are being added to the Health sub-index.
New Health Traits
Ketosis is a common and costly metabolic issue that puts cows at higher risk for other early lactation metabolic diseases. With its impact extending beyond the digestive system, ketosis costs producers an average $289 per case. One culprit causing ketosis is a build-up of blood-based beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) due to a negative energy balance after calving. With the addition of the SCK breeding value, ICC$ can help producers breed for lower BHBA levels and therefore lower incidence of ketosis. The SCK breeding value is the only one of its kind that takes into consideration both clinical and subclinical ketosis.
Metritis costs producers an average of $396 per case. While working to prevent, diagnose and treat metritis are first steps in lessening the economic impact of this disease, use of the updated ICC$ index with inclusion of the MTR breeding value can help to jumpstart prevention through genetic selection.
Similarly, breeding for better foot health by using ICC$ will help to improve animal welfare and lessen the financial impact of lameness, which ranges from $130 to over $450 per case depending on the specific condition.
Ideal for Any Situation
With ICC$ selection, a producer has the most effective tool to identify genetics that excel in real world commercial conditions. ICC$ puts greater emphasis on health traits, addresses the alarming trend for increased stature and body size, and incorporates science and data-driven genetic evaluations from multiple sources. ICC$ creates cows that are ideal for any commercial herd situation.
To learn more about the ICC$ index and the three new Genex proprietary health traits, visit http://genex.crinet.com or call 888-333-1783.
Genex Cooperative, Inc., headquartered in Shawano, Wisconsin, is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers across the U.S. This is accomplished through 950 dedicated employees working in three product and service segments: cattle genetics and reproduction, livestock marketing, and milking and farmstead equipment. Genex is a subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International. Learn more at http://genex.crinet.com.